Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Monday, February 19, 2018

Heirloom Audio Productions - Wulf The Saxon - A Review

Hello, hello, the new Homeschool Review Crew year has returned for another year, and I'm excited to bring you a review from Heirloom Audio Productions , titled Wulf The Saxon ! I received this 2 CD set for free, in exchange for my honest opinion.
I had a hopeful outlook for this "Extraordinary Adventure by G.A. Henty . In our family, my 13 year old does not typically regard the subject of History with much fondness, but the words Audio Theater offered the potential promise of changing her mind. If not,  maybe it would be enough to engage her for this particular story. Are you ready to jump in and hear some more? Yes? Well altogether then, say "Jump"!

First things first, who exactly, was G.A. Henty? Is he a fictional character that we can follow through these exciting Christian audio dramas ? Well, no.  This author, George Alfred Henty, was not only a real, live person, he was actually quite an amazing man.World traveler, Historian, Sailor, English war correspondent, and Soldier were just a few of the titles that he held. Oh, he was also  a pretty good writer (wink). He wrote well over 120 books, as well as many articles and short stories. The heroes of his tales were strong, young males who risked their lives in pursuit of their goals. They also included the age old rescues of the damsels in distress. I'm telling you, the biography of G.A. Henty is exciting enough on its own, perhaps even rivaling Wulf The Saxon in its adventure. Seriously, this story inspired us to dig into the author's fascinating background for further study. But, as interesting as that truly is, that isn't the focus of this review, so onward we travel!

If my sources are correct, it was Rudyard Kipling who said, "If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten." I think that I have to agree with him. When I consider my past educational journey, the classes in which I retained the most information, were ones where the teachers were great communicators, and yes, storytellers. One college class that I took would have ordinarily been very dry, but my professor was so colorful as he recounted not only the material, but his own first hand accounts of visits to the country where the history took place. Before that time, I never would have counted myself as an essay writer, but that teacher inspired me to tell the story back to him. The words flowed onto the page. It surprised me, in a wonderful way.

That brings me to Wulf The Saxon , the audio adventure! This CD set is no simple audio book, oh no. We're talking a full cast of accomplished actors, including Brian Blessed (Star Wars, Tarzan), Chris Larkin (Master and Commander), Helen George (Call The Midwife), and many more. Action, adventure, sound effects!  All with the purpose of bringing exciting and historical stories, with a Christian point of view. Allow me to  set the scene for you. It's the Middle Ages, 1065 to be more precise. Wulf is a young, immature Saxon, and page to Earl (and someday King) Harold. After his impulsive behavior finds himself under the discipline of  English King Edward the Confessor, Wulf is sent away to  the countryside. There, he learns the art of being a landholder, as he oversees the people there, and begins to mature. Some time later, after hearing good reports of Wulf, the king summons him back, and once again, Wulf finds himself serving Harold, but now, as a Thane. Eventually, they are sent off to Normandy, but a shipwreck complicates their plans. They quickly find themselves in peril, and exciting escapades of survival ensue. And,  Duke William of Normandy does not have honorable intentions. He (the Duke) carries off an ill intended plot to force a union between England and Normandy, involving Harold. But Harold has his own hopes to secure for himself a happy future, involving the lovely and long suffering Lady Edith.
This brings to mind a statement that brings some foreboding to it - "Fortunate are the few who marry for love."

Eventually, they make their way back to England. Wulf is no longer the naïve and quick tempered boy he once was. His instincts are spot on, and he wins the trust and respect of those serving around him. But trouble is still on the horizon. While on his deathbed, King Edward makes a disturbing prophecy. The group discovers that family doesn't necessarily mean loyalty, and difficult decisions must be made to protect the future of England. History doesn't always include happy endings, and unfortunately, there is significant heartbreak that must be endured. Along the way, Wulf learns difficult lessons, fights courageously, displays stellar character, and maybe, just maybe, even finds love. I want to give so many details, but really, I want you to listen to it yourself!

Alright, short answer- I love Wulf The Saxon ! Can we do all of our history this way? This set is so engaging. There are 2 1/2 hours to the story, and boy, does the time fly while listening! We spend a good amount of time in the car, which often finds my girls bored. Heirloom Audio Productions to the rescue! We frequently have a variety of audio books playing, but nothing like this set. We've listened to it multiple times now. My 13 year old in particular, really liked that it has a full cast of actors, rather than a single narrator voicing all of the characters. The setting of the Middle Ages appealed to her, and she loved the excitement of the battle scenes. If this could win her over, and have her engaged in history of all things- her nemesis, lol-, it's a complete win. Many have tried, most have failed in the task.

My 12 year old liked it too, with the exception of the bigger battle scenes, which did involve losing a limb or two. It's not graphic at all, but the battle is exciting, and does mention losing the aforementioned limb. She is a rather girly girl, so that opinion doesn't surprise me. But she also liked the full cast, the ladies of the story -Lady Edith, and Agnes, and the whole theater effect.  That might be something to keep  in mind for those of you with kids of similar persuasion. The target age for this set is 6 yrs.-adult, and generally, I would agree with that range. Obviously, you'll know what your kids can handle.
One particular line from a battle scene cracked me up. The character, I believe it was Osgod, has a bad wound on his arm, and while Wulf tends to him, he replies with, "Tis but a scratch."

There's another cool resource to check out while taking a look at Heirloom Audio Productions . Live The Adventure Club is a biblically based resource that with membership, includes the shipment of new audio CD's to you 3 times a year, quizzes, games, resources to help with your audio adventures, daily devotionals, access to old time radio shows, and a lot more. I'm heading over there to check it out myself.  I'm loving it all. I hope you'll take a few minutes and look at these resources for yourselves, because I think you'll find them great too!

Find Heirloom Audio Productions on Social Media:


Read more reviews from other Crew members here .

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Peek From The Past Week

Hey everyone,
Are you surviving this seemingly long part of the winter? I confess that this week, the grey skies have been getting to me. The cold and the snow can make their way out too, as far as I'm concerned, lol. But, this too shall pass, right?

We had a nice week, and while we had a few activities that often found us in the car, it felt a bit quiet, which was nice. So, as I sit here with a soothing cup of hot tea, I'll share a few photos from the week.

I'm posting this one for my oldest, who is a Twenty One Pilots fan. Couldn't help but notice that this onion ring resembles the "O" in their logo, lol.

Our ride to church was a little slippery, as you might see from these roads. We ended up being late too- the plow that came down our street threw TWO FEET of slushy, heavy, snow back onto our freshly shoveled driveway, so we had to dig out all over again. Let's just say that I really needed the sermon after dealing with that.

The week improved with our homeschool group's Valentine bowling party. Everyone brought their Valentine boxes, and treats to share. There were some very creative ones. Check out the Venus Fly Trap model. Very cool!


                                                                    The other kid bowling...

               Ah, one of the days that we look forward to all year...Paczcki Day!! Yum!!

Opening a few Valentines at breakfast on Valentine's Day.

We ended the week with some very great mail!! Review coming soon!! Have a great week everyone!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Snowmageddon 2018

Well, I guess we had it coming. It is winter in the Midwest, after all. Last night, we had the biggest snowfall of the season. It felt extra big, considering the very mild season we had last year. So here I am, sharing a few photos of the aftermath with all of you. Enjoy ;)

They say we got about 9 inches. A lot of snow to shovel, but at least it was the light fluffy variety.

             Many hands make light work. With 3 of us working, we were finished in no time!

                                                               One shovelful at a time.

                                Taking a (chilly) break. Don't worry honey, we're almost done!

Ok, well, I'm happy to be warm and cozy inside. Wherever you find yourself this weekend, have a toasty time!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Fun Friday Field Trip - Groundhog's Day!

Happy Groundhog's Day, Woodchuck chucker's! Who remembers this movie from way back when? It just so happens, that this flick was filmed in a town near us- Woodstock, Illinois. Apparently, since Groundhog Day was made there, the town of Woodstock has featured a fun Groundhog's Day fest every year. When we heard of it, we decided it would be fun to visit, and it was!

We did opt out of being there by 7 am, to hear Woodstock Willie, as our local groundhog is named, prognosticate. After all, 6 degrees Fahrenheit is not really fun walking weather. But we did take a brief walk around town. Here are some of our photos for you.

Historic downtown Woodstock is a pretty place, with a lovely opera house (pictured), and        cobblestone roads.

                                   This guy was carving  a groundhog from wood. Pretty cool!

                                             A cute groundhog sign advertising some events.

I've been wanting to visit this bookstore for awhile, and was not disappointed. Cute and cozy, with a candy and ice cream shop inside.

        Look closely at the books. They spell out Read Between The Lynes. Creative and cute!

                                                            Who's this cute little guy?

                             I took the  opportunity to add a mug to my ever growing collection.

After getting home, the creative juices were flowing. We decided to create groundhogs with some sweets and sundries.

Ummm, they look like deranged seals, lol!! Kind of a pinterest fail! But yummy.
Hope you had a great Friday too. Happy Groundhog's Day!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Quiet Sunday Evening

It's been a restful Sunday for our family. For the past few weeks, we've been watching the Downton Abbey series again. What goes better with that, than a proper cup of tea, Battenberg cakes, and a few other British treats?


          My perfect Sunday evening. A lovely way to wrap up the weekend. Happy Sunday!

Monday, January 22, 2018

No Sew Fleece Blanket

I'm back with my craft loving daughter, this time with a no sew fleece blanket. We've had a couple of these kits for quite a while now, and my girl decided that this was the day to get them completed.
Here's how it went.

        She spread out first the bottom layer, and then the top, making sure to line them up evenly.

                                         Crosby wanted to get in on the action for this photo op.

                                  Time to cut! 5 inch strips, all around the edge of the blanket.

        The cutting is finished. Now it's time to knot the strips, both the top and bottom layers.

                                            Done! All ready for a cozy rest on the couch!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Oh, The Wonders of Chapstick!

Hey there everyone,
I'm popping in for a quick post to tout the wonders of this little gem called Chapstick. I've always had a great appreciation for this product, and use it frequently, daily actually. But in the years that I've used it, I never thought of its benefits beyond the obvious, chapped lips. Until now.

Our family has had a couple bouts of the cold virus this season, and you know how it is, when you have to blow your nose constantly, your skin gets red and irritated. I had always tried just using lotion, but it never seemed to do the trick. Then, I thought of Chapstick. It's perfect. That protective balm is perfect for soothing sore noses! And, it's not messy! When the cold has run its course, throw it out (cause it's germy after all that). If you're ultra thrifty, this may not set well with you, but to me, a buck is worth the convenience, and it worked beautifully.

It worked so well in fact, that I tried it on my hands. Every winter, my hands get so chapped and cracked from so much hand washing, and the dry weather. I gave my handy chapstick a try, and seriously, it was considerably better a couple of hours later. By the next morning, they were no longer sore.  Again, the germ factor is a thought of mine, so I would wash my hands immediately before applying. I love this stuff, it works, and maybe it'll work for you too. What everyday product have you found to be a gem?